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Behavior Technician
Chimp Haven Keithville, LA

Behavior Technician

Chimp Haven
Keithville, LA
  • Full-Time
Job Description

Title: Behavior Technician
Reports to: Director of Behavior
Direct reports: None
Shift: Days: 7am-4pm. Emergencies as needed, shifts determined with supervisor and based on the needs of the organization. Will work one weekend day and may work on some holidays.
FLSA: Non-exempt
Risk Level: 3

ORGANIZATIONAL OVERVIEW: At Chimp Haven we believe were not that different, humans and chimpanzees. Chimps have personalities, emotions, and relationships, just like us, and were on a mission to connect them to the happy healthy lives they deserve. Thats why were providing and promoting personalized care for chimpanzees (most of whom were retired from biomedical research) by helping them, for their remaining years, live a good life the chimp life. Chimp Haven serves as The National Chimpanzee Sanctuary and is located on 200 forested acres in northwest Louisiana just outside of Shreveport. Chimp Haven provides excellent care for more than 300 chimpanzees retired from research or no longer used in the entertainment industry or as pets. As more retired chimpanzees make their way from research institutions to sanctuary, our population continues to grow. Chimp Haven has a well-designed facility to support the physical and emotional well-being of all animals, experienced staff and high standards for operational excellence. Chimp Haven offers a competitive salary, excellent benefits, extensive training and an opportunity for professional advancement. Equal Opportunity Employer.

Behavior Technicians will monitor chimpanzees behavioral wellness through formal behavioral observations and will improve chimpanzee wellbeing by providing daily enrichment and positive reinforcement training.

Behavior Technicians are expected to ensure excellent standards of behavioral care for the chimpanzees, as well as embrace the values of the organization while working cohesively within the Behavior Department and with multiple departmental teams.


Please note this job description is not designed to contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job.

Conduct behavioral observations on chimpanzee residents.

Carry out chimpanzee training objectives, including medical behavior training, using positive reinforcement according to plans approved by the PRT Supervisor.

Prepare, distribute, clean, and evaluate enrichment items for chimpanzees.

Participate in enrichment demonstrations for visitors, donors, and media.

Assist team and other animal care departments in maintaining the inspection readiness of food preparation and staff support areas.

Assist with behavioral metric projects and data entry, summarization, and presentation to staff.

Assist with the maintenance of enrichment and behavioral metric records.

May assist with publications and external collaborations.

Assist with chimpanzee socialization procedures including introductions. Assist with pre and post introduction monitoring of social groups.

Assists training new behavioral team members as well as husbandry and veterinary team members to participate in behavioral data collection and surveys.

May mentor others in the positive reinforcement training program.

May serve as a liaison to volunteers, interns, and visiting scientists.

Assist with planning enrichment schedules and developing new enrichment devices.

Sanitize equipment and enrichment devices and maintain team preparation/storage areas.

Utilize creativity to repair, maintain, and build enrichment devices including but not limited to forage devices, puzzle feeders, hammocks, and structures.

May assist ordering supplies according to approved budget.

Assists husbandry, veterinary or other departmental staff as directed.

A bachelors degree in a related field preferred (psychology, anthropology, biology, animal behavior and management etc.). A combination of education and paid/intern experience may be considered. Chimpanzee experience is preferred but not required.

At least one years experience providing enrichment and/or training to primates or exotics in one of the following: an educational setting (as part of a degree curriculum), zoo, laboratory, or a sanctuary setting is preferred.

One year of experience with formal behavioral observations of animals is requiredcan be observations in an educational program, internship, or paid position. Primates or chimpanzee observations preferred but not required. Experience with primate social introductions and mitigating abnormal behavior in primates is strongly preferred.

A history of presentation at scientific conferences or publications is preferred but not required.

Moderate experience with Microsoft products (Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, PowerBi, Teams) required. Experience with statistical analysis and ZooMonitor preferred but not required.


Have physical strength and agility (run, jump and climb).

Ability for physical activity with PPE for long periods indoors/outdoors in potentially extreme temperatures.

Ability to bend, crawl, stretch, twist, reach out, kneel, squat, sit, stoop, lift, push, pull, or carry heavy objects-including overhead.

Ability to stand for long periods of time.

Ability to consistently lift ~75 lbs. from floor to waist assisted.

Ability to perform repetitive motions for extended periods of time.

Ability to keep or regain the body's balance or stay upright when in an unstable position, including height and unstable ground.

Ability to ascend/descend ramps, stairs and/or ladders.

Manual dexterity

o Make fast, repeated movements of fingers, hands, and wrists.

o Use fingers to grasp, move, or assemble small objects.

o Use hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools, or controls.

o Make quick, precise adjustments to machine controls.

Near and far visual acuity

Ability to hear, understand and distinguish speech and/or other sounds.

Ability to express or exchange ideas verbally-accurately, loudly and quickly.

Educational multitasking:

o Focus on one source of sound and ignore others.

o Ability to quickly retain information and hear and write at the same time.

Ability to enter text or data into a computer or other machine with a keyboard or touchscreen.

Comfortability within confined spaces.


Must be able to work both independently and within a team. Be open and receptive to embodying the Chimp Haven values of positivity and kindness, unity, adaptability, collaboration, and resiliency.

Chimp Haven is a working environment with potential for animal bites, scratches and injury and exposure to chemical, biological, physical, environmental, infectious and psychosocial hazards including, but not limited to unpleasant odors, animal wastes, welding fumes, dust and allergens, animal tissues and body fluids, toxic chemicals, zoonotic diseases (tuberculosis, shigella etc.), and infectious agents (Hepatitis B, C, HIV, etc.).

Weekend, holiday and night work may be necessary.

Duties may require driving Chimp Havens vehicles which require a valid drivers license. Must also meet Chimp Havens motor vehicle operating standards. Reliable personal transportation required.

Participation in a medical monitoring and surveillance program that includes hepatitis B and other inoculations is required.

Safety training, equipment, clothing and supplies will be provided.



Chimp Haven

Keithville, LA
71047 USA



Posted date

Over a month ago

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